Demolition has begun on the east side of Yonge Street between Gould and Gerrard, were a number of buildings are coming down for what will be one of Toronto and Canada’s tallest buildings. Approved at a height of 299 metres, Cresford’s YSL Residences will tower 85 storeys over Yonge and Gerrard.

YSL site in January before demolition, image by Edward Skira

Following the issuing of demolition permits, the first signs of site activity were spotted back in February, when crews from Priestly Demolition began to mobilize on site. Over the past several weeks, demolition teams have been gradually taking down the existing buildings on site, which include 3 Gerrard Street, and 363 through 391 Yonge Street.

Demolition at YSL site, image by Forum contributor skycandy

Though the backs of these structures will be lost to make way for the new landmark, the street-facing elevations of the Gerrard Building at 385-391 Yonge Street, the Richard S. Williams Block at 363-365 Yonge Street, 367 Yonge Street, and the Yonge Street Mission will be retained in situ. Sections of the Gerrard Building and Richard S. Williams Block will be reconstructed with salvaged or new materials to match the existing facades.

Demolition at YSL site, image by Forum contributor skycandy

Images from the rear of these buildings captured along O'Keefe Lane show that demolition has cleared away large sections of the structures. Once the bulk of the structures are removed, stabilization and retention of the Yonge Street walls will be accomplished with steel frameworks located on and above the Yonge and Gerrard Street sidewalks, stabilized by concrete block counterweights.

Demolition at YSL site, image by Forum contributor skycandy

If completed today, the new tower would stand as the tallest building in Canada, just edging out the 298-metre First Canadian Place, but the 308 metre-tall "The One"—under construction just over a kilometre to the north—is expected to snatch the 'tallest' title away from First Canadian Place before YSL tops out. The wedge-shaped YSL—designed by New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates with Toronto-based architectsAlliance—should still rank as second highest in the country upon completion.

YSL Residences, image via submission to City of Toronto

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

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Related Companies:  architectsAlliance, Cresford Developments, DTAH, Janet Rosenberg + Studio, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates